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GP Week : Issue 73
29 F1 BAHRAIN >> Whilst Virgin, HRT and Sauber all DNF'd, both Lotus managed to score a classified finish. Heikki Kovalainen crossed the line in 15th place while Jarno Trulli, suffering a hydraulics problem, stopped on the track but managed to do enough to a be classed 17th. Mike Gascoyne told GP Week he's elated: "We always said we'd be here, be professional and reliable, and we've done what we said we'd do. Now we'll get on and make it quick." In the final phase of the race, Kovalainen was lapping two seconds off the leaders -- a step up from his qualifying pace. We expected that from the long runs we've done. We've got to work on the one-lap pace," said Mike. The car was designed conservatively, with a 20 percent margin on cooling and a fairly basic aerodynamic package. For Spain there will be a major aero update, and other upgrades before. "We made some conscious conservative engineering decisions, which I think have paid off this weekend. Today is a great lift for the team. For those who said new teams shouldn't be here, when you saw Heikki fighting with Hulkenberg, well... we're here, we're racing, f**k you! Heading into the championship, Lotus sparked a rivalry with Virgin Racing -- both targeting to be best newcomer. It's 15/love to Lotus, then, but Gascoyne says Virgin isn't where he's looking. "We're not looking at the new teams, we're looking at Toro Rosso and Sauber in front of us. And it doesn't matter where we are today, what matters is we improve every race." Call to action over lack of action Martin Whitmarsh believes changes need to be made to improve the show, by revisiting a mandatory two-pitstop rule, or by making tyre compounds further apart. "[McLaren] were one of three teams that said we should have two mandatory pitstops, because we were worried about [people] one-stopping. I think we have to re-examine that," he advised. "I think if we can now push on Bridgestone to have 'racier' tyres, we need a super-soft tyre that is really going to hurt if you take it to 20 laps." Many drivers, including Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton, complained it was very difficult to follow rivals closely and therefore overtake. Having sat out all the practice sessions, HRT's Karun Chandhok made his grand prix race debut with just four timed laps under his belt. Unfortunately, it was all over after a couple of minutes. "Sorry, this was my fifth lap on this track," he said. "I hit a bump in the new part of the circuit. I was not that much experienced in that part of the track as I had driven only four timed laps over the weekend." The Indian's qualifying pace impressed, improving rapidly lap after lap, despite it was effectively "only a shakedown." "I want to thank my mechanics for accompanying my first laps on this track and the whole team for a great week-end and long sleepless hours. Now let's look forward to start again in Melbourne." Bruno Senna had more to be optimistic about, his car having been largely trouble free before the race. On lap 18 his engine gave in and overheated. "It was certainly a relief to have been in the race for so many laps," said Senna. "Everything was going well. I felt I had a little too much understeer. I had a good base set-up now after these laps and my engineers will have a better starting point to work from for next race." Hispania's glass half full Lotus delighted to nish